Now that my kids are grown, I am sometimes not as clued in to the rhythms of sports seasons. But tonight, as I watch The Natural, for the umteenth time, I’m reminded of the way my breath stops while watching a good game. The way I can be moved when the underdog hits that homerun or catches that fly ball. The edge-of-seat anticipation that mothers of pitchers feel.

I remember all the fun with my kids over the years quoting lines from their favorite baseball movies.

“You’re killing me, Smalls!” (The Sandlot)

“Is this heaven?

It’s Iowa.

Iowa? I could have sworn this was heaven.

Is there a heaven?

Oh yeah. It’s the place where dreams come true.

[Ray looks around, seeing his wife playing with their daughter on the porch]

Maybe this is heaven.” (Field of Dreams)

In fact, just as The Natural was ending, my son texted me his favorite line. “Pick me out a winner, Bobby.” His timing was uncanny, for not 30 seconds after reading his text, I heard the same line from Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) on my TV. I smiled so big. That’s part of baseball’s magic. You can’t explain how it binds families. But it does. At least my family.

One of these days, I just may have to walk down the street to the Little League Park and see what’s up.

field of dreams)


8 thoughts on “March 12, 2017

  1. Do you know Thomas Boswell’s book “Why Time Begins on Opening Day”? Just the title reminds me why I love baseball. Your connection is through your children’s playing, and that comes through so clearly. And your son texting you that favorite line just before you heard it in the movie? My husband and I used to call those “movie moments,” when real life imitates cinema. I hope you do go watch a Little League game this spring.

  2. What a great post! Thanks for The Sandlot reminder! I’m not a very good fan because I invariably start to feel really bad for the losing team. I need them both to win!

  3. I bet there are kids at that Little League park who could use a supportive fan to cheer them on. (I’m thinking of Boelts’ book Happy Like Soccer.) It might be worth a stroll down there.

  4. I love how I learn more about you through your writing!! Have you read Doris Kearns Goodwin’s memoir, Wait Til Next Year? I think you’d like it!! You make me want to watch a baseball movie, now!

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